From the foundations of Walter Burley Griffin’s visionary plan, Canberra has flourished as a living…
Just because the weather’s a little more crisp there’s no reason to stay inside with so many fantastic parks and playgrounds scattered around the city.
This is brilliant Tuggeranong park (pictured above) is well worth the drive if you’re on the other side of the city. Set on 41 hectares, there’s an adventure playground, skateboard area and picnic areas in a gorgeous open green space. There is plenty of room for the kids to run around among the trees, and you can make use of the free barbeques and sheltered areas.
Bugden Avenue, Fadden
Glebe Park is a little oasis in the middle of the city, and a great place to grab a little ‘time out’ when the kids have had enough of being pulled around the shops. There’s some great play equipment, plenty of room to run around, beautiful English Elms and English Oaks to shelter under, playgrounds, a picnic area and more.
Coranderrk Street, Canberra City
Head to Pod Playground at the National Arboretum for a play experience that’s close to nature. A beautifully crafted space that reflects the surrounding forests, its giant wooden acorn cubby houses can be reached by clambering breathlessly up through exciting rope tunnels and challenging ladders, only to whizz down again on the slides. It’s definitely reminiscent of the Magic Faraway Tree. There are also several ground-level banksia pods, some with musical instruments, and four swings. Good luck extricating your kids from this playground!
Forest Drive (off Tuggeranong Parkway), Acton, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, 2601
This incredible all-abilities playground was devised by a group of community-minded public servants as a gift to Canberra on its centenary in 2013. Boundless showcases the benefits of inclusion and diversity, enabling children with disability to explore, play and swing to their hearts’ content alongside their able-bodied peers. There are ramps and cubbies, swings and slides. There’s also a sandpit with diggers!
Wendouree Drive, Parkes
Kambah Adventure Playground
This is a playground for all ages and abilities, with a tree house, junior and senior flying foxes, giant swings, space net and wheelchair accessible liberty swing guaranteed to keep the children engaged for hours. Take along a picnic hamper, fire up the BBQ and settle in!
Springbett Street, Kambah
Yerrabi Pond District Park
If you’re exploring northside, this is a wonderful adventure playground which includes an all-abilities swing, multiple flying foxes, and a slide/climbing structure with cubby spaces underneath. Other features include a skateboard/scooter area, BBQs and shaded picnic areas under the trees. Like John Knight Park, Yerrabi Pond also features a plethora of watery wildlife.
Next to Yerrabi Pond on Wunderlich Street in Gungahlin
Black Mountain Peninsula
This is the perfect summer playground – 22.2 hectares of foreshore parkland with lots of grass for natural play, water for swimming and paddling, and some lovely beaches and water’s edge to stroll along. There are also picnic areas, drinking fountains and all-ability-access playgrounds, which make it a great option for everyone (except dogs – they’re not allowed).
Gary Owen Drive, off Lady Denman Drive, Acton.
John Knight Memorial Park
An idyllic spot on the shores of Lake Ginninderra, John Knight Memorial Park is popular with Canberra families, and it’s common to see several generations picnicking together under the trees. The playground includes a tree house, flying fox and play sculpture; and reptile-lovers are in for a treat with the Snake house’s large timber climbing unit featuring a wave board and nest spinner, a climbing net, shop counter with a snake theme and voice tubes for children to speak to each other across the play area. There are also plenty of water birds to watch!
Aikman Drive, Belconnen
About 20 minutes drive from the city centre is Cotter Avenue, an absolute cracker of a playground and park area. There are grassed areas for running around or tossing a ball, BBQs for sausage sizzles and picnics, and a great modern adventure playground – all on the banks of the historic Cotter River. It gets busy on warm weekends, and for good reasons – it’s totally idyllic!
Cotter Road, Cotter.
Barracks Flat Park
Barracks Flat Park in Queanbeyan is a great park to relax in, and suitable for young and older children. It has swings, a slide, climbers and spinners for the young children in a safety gate area, so the little ones can’t escape. The play equipment is also shaded and there are toilets, BBQ and picnic tables.
For the older children, there is a half basketball court, a green grass area for kicking a ball and a bike track with lots of dirt mounds for jumping and stunts. Don’t forget your bike or scooter!
Barracks Flat Drive, Karabar